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  Shooting the Wounded

I have a friend who recently became so exhausted in mind and body by his service to the Lord that he just couldn't continue. Thanks to his church and friends, he's getting a much needed rest.

It reminded me, for reasons which I will explain, of the old expression, "The Christian army is the only army that shoots its own wounded."

I have occasionally heard this "shooting the wounded" expression applied to those who have committed some sin - sexual or financial or whatever. Then, if the church refuses to let this person have back his or her responsible position, it is "shooting its own wounded."


If the analogy is to an army, then it is not even close to parallel.

No soldier who acts on behalf of the enemy or violates the orders given him by his commander is called "wounded." At best that soldier would be called "irresponsible." At worst, a "traitor."

And I assure anyone who doubts that many armies have punished their irresponsible soldiers, and many have shot their traitors.

The wounded are those who have suffered injury - mental or physical - in the conduct of their duties. They are people like my friend, or those who have endured persecution or physical injury for their devotion to Christ.

For those (like Peter) who betray Christ, the church should make every attempt to restore them. But these are not the "wounded." Not literally. Not figuratively.

Copyright 2000 Brad Haugaard.